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PRIOLO - I LEFT MY HEART IN ALGONQUIN PARK

6/7/2017 11:41:00 AM / Steve Priolo

Instead of moving into an apartment while he plays in a summer league in Victoria, British Columbia, Bandits defenseman Steve Priolo decided to make a van his temporary residence and hit the road. Each week, he's blogging about his experiences for Bandits.com. You can read the first installment here.

Everything was packed and ready to hit the road for my cross Canada trek. My fiancée Jacqueline who helped me build what would essentially become our home for the summer, has teaching commitments until the end of June. 

She had to be in Algonquin Park for a camping trip so I said I could take her there when I hit the road for Victoria. 

The school bus was running late, and I needed to get going if I was to make it for the Shamrocks home opener the following Friday.

So with a heavy heart, I left Jacqueline in the middle of Algonquin Park, hoping it was the right spot to meet the bus and I was on my way. 

It was Sunday and I was aiming to be in Victoria for Thursday. This meant that my travels needed to be fairly swift, and in doing so, I believe I did not give justice to the beauty that Canada has to offer. I was just able to grab a glimpse of the diversity in landscape and culture. 

Northern Ontario was thick bush with many lakes. Entering Manitoba, the landscape started to flatten out, but still many trees. Along the way, I found my body becoming stiff and I knew the only way I was going to make it was if I could run. 

So periodically, I would get out of the van on the side of the road, and just start running. Five kilometers one way, then I’d turn around and run five kilometers back. What a relief! 

After Winnipeg, through Saskatchewan, the fields were very flat, and the farmers were working until the sun literally went down. Absolutely inspiring, the commitment it must take to work those fields. 

The drive through the mountains was gorgeous. If you have never been to the Banff and Yoho national parks, that would be the “must do” on this journey. Along the way, I stayed in many rest stops on the side of the road. This is a great benefit of traveling with a van. 

When I was in the mountains, I found a little area just outside of Kelowna, B.C. when the road brought me to the top of a snow capped mountain. I had to spend the night. I didn't make the connection to snow being still around, and how cold it would get at night. 

The next morning I made my way to the ferries and just like that, after five days and four nights, I was arriving in Victoria! 

My experiences on the Island have been absolutely incredible, so come catch next week’s blog and we will get into some details of what I am up to and what it is like not only to travel, but to also actually live in the van. 

If you have any questions, find me on Instagram or Twitter!
 

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